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Betting the Buffaloes: Big Underdogs Against UCLA

The Buffaloes seek their first win in the Rose Bowl since 2002 

NCAA Football: UCLA at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Following a thrilling 37-34 double overtime victory against the Beavers, the Buffaloes (3-6, 2-4 Pac-12) head to Pasadena, Calif. to take on the Bruins (5-4, 3-3 Pac-12) Saturday night in the Rose Bowl. UCLA holds an 11-5 advantage in the series which dates to 1980. The home team has won each of the last six games with Colorado getting the best of UCLA in Boulder last November, 48-42. Since joining the Pac-12 Conference in 2011, the Buffaloes have not won in Pasadena. Their only victory in the Rose Bowl came in their first trip in 2002 when Chris Brown rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-17 win. UCLA enters this game having dropped their last two contests, a 34-31 loss at home to Oregon and a 44-24 drubbing at Utah. The Bruins are 5-4 ATS this season, with the over hitting in five games. The Buffaloes are 4-4 ATS and have covered in their last two games, at Oregon and versus Oregon State.

ODDS, OVER/UNDER, & MONEYLINE (per VegasInsider.com consensus):

Spread: UCLA -16½

Over/Under: 57

1st Half Spread: UCLA -8½

1st Half Over/Under: 29½

Moneyline: Colorado +500, UCLA -700

PREDICTION:

For the third straight week the Buffaloes enter a league contest as double-digit underdogs. After holding the Pac-12’s leading rusher B.J. Baylor to under 100 yards last week, Colorado will face another stout rushing attack this Saturday led by Michigan-transfer Zach Charbonnet (797 rush yards, 8 TD), Brittain Brown (558 rush yards, 6 TD) and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (364 rush yards, 6 TD). Thompson-Robinson can also be a threat with his arm. He’s thrown for 1,639 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions in eight games and ranks third among Pac-12 signal callers with a 145.4 passing efficiency rating. A thumb injury forced him to miss the Bruins last game on October 30, but he was back at practice this week and is probable against the Buffaloes.

Colorado quarterback Brendan Lewis (1,186 pass yards, 10 TD, 3 INT) struggled to get anything going in the first half of the season but has really turned it on as of late. In his last two games, Lewis has thrown for 394 yards and six touchdowns. The timing of Lewis’ stellar play could not be more perfect since UCLA ranks 120thin the nation – and dead last in the Pac-12 - in passing yards allowed, surrendering 278.4 yards per game through the air. Perhaps a bonus for the Buffaloes? Head coach Karl Dorrell has a little bit of experience playing in the Rose Bowl. Dorrell was a wide receiver for the Bruins from 1983-’86 and coached them from 2003-’07.

After correctly predicting Colorado would cover against Oregon State and the total would be over 54 points, my record sits at an astonishing 9-1-1 this season for a total of 2,020 “beans.” (a profit of 1,020) This scribe can’t be stopped. Whether DTR plays or not, give me 200 beans on the Buffaloes getting 16 and a half points and another 120 on the total to be over 57 points in what should be another high-scoring affair.

Game time is set for 7:00 P.M. MT on Pac-12 Network.